Should More Rappers Tackle Sex Ed?July 26th, 2012
Freedom of speech can be a friend or enemy to sex education. Earlier this week, rapper Killer Mike decided to share his two cents on black women and their failure to recognize male bisexuality as detrimental to their health. Despite the fact that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found no research to back up such a claim, Mike joins several other rappers who have attempted to play the role of sex educator.
Remember the Too Short debacle? The Oakland rapper released a “fatherly advice” video on XXL.com earlier this year, telling young men how to “turn out” a young lady. “You take your finger and put a little spit on it and you stick your finger in her underwear and you rub it on there and watch what happens,” he explained. The media responded in horror, and most agreed that his additional advice of pushing the girl up against the wall was borderline violent. He later apologized for his statements.
Then, there’s Lil’ Wayne and the music video to his hit single, “How to Love.” While the rapper was applauded for making a video about more than just cash, cars, and vixens, “How to Love” (2011) offered a complicated spin on women’s reproductive health choices, tackling the controversial issue of abortion. Taking a pro-life approach, the video featured a mother preparing for the procedure at a medical facility, but eventually she chooses not to go through with it and proceeds to jump off the table and run down the hall.
The question is whether or not these artists do more harm than good to the plight of sex educators, working to get accurate information about sex into the public. Also, have they overlooked a woman’s right to choose and her ability to make the right decisions for her sexual health?
Admittedly, the hip hop stars have been excellent conversation catalysts, sparking these important discussions in pop culture. But at times, their lack of knowledge about sexual health mixed with a bit of ignorance causes them to push soundbite rhetoric about complex situations.
The commentary of these rappers is far away from Common and Lauryn Hill’s “Retrospect of Life” (1997) or Salt-n-Peppa’s “Let’s Talk Abou Sex” (1991). Yet, should we appreciate them for the greater good of dialogue? Or should they simply stick to rapping about what they know best?
Be sure to sound off in the comments below.
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